Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the State Senate unanimously confirmed his selections for Commissioners of Environmental Conservation, Transportation, Tax and Finance, and Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
"I applaud the legislature for recognizing the talent and dedication to public service possessed by these individuals," Governor Cuomo said. "We are rebuilding the state of New York to make it work for the people and this team of hard-working leaders will contribute great things to our state. I look forward to working with each of them as we usher in a new New York."
Joseph Martens will serve as Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. Beginning in 1998, Mr. Martens served as President of the Open Space Institute, directing and overseeing land acquisition, sustainable development, historic preservation, and farmland protection. Previously, Mr. Martens served as Deputy Secretary to the Governor for Energy and the Environment from 1992-94. He has served as Chair of the Olympic Regional Development Authority and the Adirondack Lake Survey Corporation. Mr. Martens studied Resource Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and received an M.S. in Resource Management from the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry based out of Syracuse University.
Commissioner Martens said, "Governor Cuomo has been a steadfast advocate for environmental protection and I am proud to stand with him in that mission. The challenges we face will be many but the decisions that are made will be based on a simple principle let's leave a cleaner environment for our children than the one we inherited."
Senator Mark Grisanti, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation, said, "Commissioner Martens will be a strong voice for environmental stewardship and for the preservation and enhancement of New York's natural resources. He is very receptive to input from all sides of the aisle and he has a thorough understanding of the issues facing the environmental community today. In addition, Joe has made it clear that his number one priority is making the DEC a business friendly department. I have full confidence in Commissioner Martens and look forward to working with him and the Governor."
Senator Tony Avella, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation, said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo's selection of Joe Martens as Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. At a time when many of our State's most vital natural resources are threatened by pollution and contamination, it is important that we have a strong and competent leader with an extensive resume of environmental protection to head this agency. Mr. Martens' history of environmental stewardship in this regard gives me hope that the DEC will be alert and actively involved in protecting our beautiful State in the battles ahead."
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. said. "Joseph Martens is the right person at the right time to lead the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation into a new era. His career of public service and advocacy for responsible and achievable environmental stewardship is unequaled, and showcases a true passion for New York's resources. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his selection and the state Senate for its swift confirmation of Mr. Martens."
Joan McDonald will serve as Commissioner of the State Department of Transportation. Ms. McDonald most recently served as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. In 2008, she was appointed Chair of Connecticut Innovations, an authority providing development capital to emerging businesses. Prior to that, she was the Senior Vice President of Transportation for the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Vice President of Jacobs Engineering. Ms. McDonald also served as Deputy Commissioner for Planning & Traffic Operations for the New York City Department of Transportation and as the Director of Capital and Long Range Planning for the MTA Metro-North Railroad. She served as Special Assistant to the Speaker of the New York State Assembly from 1991-1992 and began her career in public service with the Assembly in 1978. Ms. McDonald received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Lemoyne College and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Commissioner McDonald said, "Rebuilding New York's economy begins with maintaining and growing our transportation infrastructure. DOT will continue to look for ways to operate more efficiently while delivering the services that are vital to keeping New York moving. I thank Governor Cuomo for giving me this important opportunity and I look forward to working with him to ensure our entire transportation system remains strong."
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., Chairman of the Senate's Transportation Committee, said, "Commissioner of the Department of Transportation is a position which carries an enormous amount of responsibility because millions of people depend on our transportation infrastructure every day to get to and from work, conduct business, and go about their lives. Commissioner McDonald has a strong background and will bring a wealth of professional experience to her new position. She is well qualified to lead the Department of Transportation, and I look forward to working with her."
Senator Martin Malave Dilan, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Transportation, said, "The Department of Transportation provides an essential service to our state and must be managed by a capable, intelligent and innovative individual who understands the intricacies of New York's infrastructure. Furthermore, Commissioner McDonald is familiar with the fundamental need to find efficiencies and prioritize within the department. I look forward to working with both the Governor and Commissioner, and congratulate her on the confirmation."
Jay Simson, President of the American Council of Engineering Companies, New York, said, "The Department of Transportation's role in New Yorkers' everyday lives is prevalent. It takes a dedicated expert who knows how the state functions and can address challenges head-on. Joan McDonald has great experience in the public and private sectors and is an excellent choice to lead this agency. New York's travelers will be in good hands under her leadership. I congratulate the Governor and Joan on this confirmation."
Thomas H. Mattox will serve as the Commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance. Mr. Mattox worked at Goldman Sachs & Co. for nine years, where he served as a Managing Director in the Finance Division, and Chief of Staff in both the Controller and Finance and Resources Divisions. Mr. Mattox also served as a Senior Vice President of Chase Manhattan Bank and as a consultant at Monitor Company for two years. Mr. Mattox has also served as treasurer of the Harvard Club in New York City. Mr. Mattox has an AB from Harvard College and MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Commissioner Mattox said, "I look forward to working with Governor Cuomo to develop a more efficient state agency that delivers results for the people of New York. It is an honor and privilege to be a part of his administration and to be associated with the hardworking professionals at Taxation and Finance."
Senator Carl L Marcellino, Chairman of the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee said, "Commissioner Mattox has demonstrated that he is both qualified and ready to meet the unique challenges that will face the department going forward. His experience and willingness to serve the state will be an asset during these difficult financial times. I look forward to working with Commissioner Mattox."
Senator Daniel L. Squadron, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, said, "In this fiscal crisis, New York needs expert hands to help our state recover. In Commissioner Mattox, Governor Cuomo has chosen a proven professional. I congratulate Commissioner Mattox on his confirmation and I look forward to working with him and with Governor Cuomo to make New York state government more effective and more accountable to millions of New Yorkers."
Former State Comptroller H. Carl McCall said, "Tom Mattox understands that our state's financial picture is wholly dependent on sound, effective and responsible leadership. I am pleased that Governor Cuomo has selected him for this important role and I am happy the State Senate recognizes Tom's leadership qualities and moved to confirm his nomination in a quick manner."
Rose H. Harvey will serve as Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. For 27 years, Ms. Harvey has held multiple leadership positions with The Trust for Public Land. Ms. Harvey was a senior fellow at the Jonathan Rose Companies, where she acted as an advisor and researcher on parks and open space issues, and launched a non-profit organization to fund, design, and develop safe, well-managed parks in urban neighborhoods. She was also recently a McCluskey Fellow and Lecturer at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Ms. Harvey began her career in parks and open space at the Maryland Environmental Trust. Ms. Harvey received her B.A. from Colorado College in 1977 and M.E.S. at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 1984.
Commissioner Harvey said, "New York's world-class park system is a public treasure and part of our shared heritage. From the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes to Long Island and beyond, every region of the state has wonderful open spaces and historical sites to enjoy. I will work diligently to promote and protect all of them. It is truly an honor and enormous responsibility to be chosen by Governor Cuomo to lead such a prestigious agency."
Senator Betty Little, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, said, "Our state's bountiful resources are unparalleled throughout the country. Therefore, we need a dedicated professional with a vast understanding of open space like Commissioner Harvey to maximize the accessibility, usage and stewardship of our state's treasures. New York's many parks and historic sites are in good hands, and I look forward to working with the new Commissioner in this vital role."
Senator Jose M. Serrano, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, said, "New York's incredible parks and historic sites are among the most diverse and invaluable resources in the state. Rose Harvey's multifaceted credentials, passion, and experience in parks operation, development, protection and enhancement - particularly her work with urban areas and underserved communities - make her the ideal candidate to lead this agency. I commend Governor Cuomo for his selection, and I look forward to working with Ms. Harvey to preserve our state's greatest gift to future generations."
Kim Elliman, CEO of the Open Space Institute, said, "Rose's lifetime of public service suits New York's Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation well. She knows and believes in the importance that open spaces play in our daily lives and has fought tirelessly to protect them. Governor Cuomo has made a smart choice in selecting Rose as his nominee, and the Senate has done the right thing by promptly confirming her nomination."